Rehan youngest debutant to take five-fer as England eye clean sweep

Rehan Ahmed – the youngest cricketer to play Test for England – bagged five wickets as the tourists restricted to 216 in their second innings at National Stadium, Karachi.

During the process, Rehan became the youngest ever Test cricketer to take a five-fer on debut.

It means England need just 167 to seal a 3-0 series win, which would be the first-ever white wash for Pakistan on their home soil.

England started the chase in their traditional positive fashion with Babar Azam again opting for spinners – Abrar Ahmed and Nauman Ali – to start the proceedings from both ends.

By the time the third day’s play came to an end, they had already scored 112 runs in just 17 overs, which means they need only 55 more to end the historic tour with yet another victory.

The first success for Pakistan came with the wicket of Zak Crawley (41) after Abrar trapped him in front of stumps as he tried sweep the ball.

He had another wicket 10 runs later, when England reached 97. It was the night watchman who he bowled him 6.

The departure of Rehan meant that Ben Stokes had to come out for batting in dwindling light. Left handed opener Ben Duckett was batting on 50 of 38 balls and Ben Stokes on 10 when play ended for the day.

Earlier, Pakistan lost three wickets in a space of 11 balls run during the morning session as they were hoping for a consolation win in the last Test of the series.

As the play resumed, Pakistan were at 21 for no loss. However, Jack Leach first bowled Shan Masood (24) and then trapped Azhar Ali – who was playing his last innings in Test cricket – before the stumps in the same over. Pakistan was at 53 at that time.

It was disappointing end to his career as he fell for a duck. He has represented Pakistan in 96 Tests so far, scoring 7097 runs at an average of 42.49 with 19 100s and 30 50s. He made his debut in the longest format in 2010 against Australia at Lord’s.

During his career, Azhar became Pakistan’s fifth leading Test run-scorer after Younis Khan (10,099), Javed Miandad (8,832), Inzamam-ul-Haq (8,829) and Mohammad Yousuf (7,530).

With the addition of just one run, Leach in his next over also claimed the scalp of Abdullah Shafique who too was adjudged leg before wicket.

However, Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel – the only bright point for the hosts in the series – managed to steady the ship and pushed Pakistan to 99 without any loss by lunch.

But things went further south after lunch, as they lost three more wickets – Babar Azam (54) at 154, Mohammad Rizwan (7) at 176 and Saud Shakeel (57) at 177. All these scalps were bagged by Rehan.

During the last session, Faheem Ashraf went after scoring 1 run, Nauman (15), Mohammad Wasim (2) and Agha Salman (21).

Apart from Rehan’s five wicket haul, Leach bagged three wickets with one each for Mark Wood and Joe Root.

On Sunday, England had scored 354 runs in their first innings in response to the Pakistan’s 304 thanks to Harry Brook who scored his third century in as many matches. Ben Foakes hit a half-century as England eked out a lead of 50.

Brook made 111 to continue his excellent start to Test cricket, with the 23-year-old proving to be the glue in England’s innings, putting on partnerships with Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes before a stand of 117 with Foakes.

Nauman and Abrar played a big role in stemming England’s flow on either side of the sixth-wicket stand, picking up four wickets apiece.

England were unable to take any wickets in the few overs that Pakistan batted on day two, with Shafique ending on 14 while Shan Masood was on 3.


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